Archive for January 28th, 2019

January 28, 2019

Chocolateria San Ginés, Madrid!

Ok so as I told you was on a nostalgic run , for that, needed to stay in Madrid. We say, from Madrid to heaven, and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day! yes! As I told you about my youthful days , teens, in my Madrid and lucky to visit it every year now!

I told you about the metro line and the sports park, nostalgic now closed restaurant, and now the best family eatery for years, including those cousins still there is the chocolateria San Ginés! an institution!! I have many souvenirs of this place coming with my dear late mom Gladys and then my wife and my dear late wife Martine, and our 3 boys (now young men) as recently as 2017. For me is more than that ,I came as a teen ,first to teatro Eslava (now joy eslava) to do community dances for youths, and while leaving late, we hop over to San Ginés to recompose the body and soul; it was a ritual of younger years.


Today, do not follow the same ritual of late night partying ,but do come still each time in Madrid is a must with the family. You too can make it your own mark stop in Madrid or Madri…. Let me delight you with a bit more on it , as usual done bits of it in my other posts on Madrid in my blog.


The Chocolatería San Ginés is one of the most famous churrería in Madrid. It is located in Calle del Arenal 11 (Pasadizo de San Ginés) in the heart of the city near the Puerta del Sol. This is one of the most popular places to take a chocolate with churros, and this since it was founded in 1894. Today it is a tourist place where visitors and locals gather to taste the chocolate with churros.


San Ginés is also known as Buñolería Modernista, name given by the writer Valle-Inclán in his novel Bohemian Lights. As you can read on the plaque hanging on the facade of the bar: “ This bar served as inspiration to D. Ramón María Valle-Inclán for his literary work Bohemian lights in 1929 “. But Valle-Inclán was not the only one, the location of the bar was halfway between the Teatro Real and Puerta del Sol, so it became a bar frequently visited by artists and intellectuals of the time.

The Churrería is located next to the Teatro Eslava and its fame began when at the exit of the theater, people got used to go there to take a chocolate with churros.  Later, its opening until late hours, made people who were leaving the night club of Joy Eslava late at night or early in the morning could have breakfast before returning home. It has become a meeting place for the night owls. Many souvenirs myself doing this lol!


The bar was built in 1890 to make it a hostel but it was converted into Churrería in 1894. It is a bar reminiscent of the cafes of the late 19C. It has two floors where there are traditional white marble tables and a counter paved with tiled and where you can take the traditional chocolate with churros or any other refreshment or a coffee accompanied by pastries. In general the churrería is open every day of the year.  During the Spanish Second Republic it was known as the “La Escondida”, (the hidden) as many intellectuals and folks hided there when in trouble, and had their meetings.


In 2010, a Chocolatería San Ginés opened in Tokyo, in the Shibuya district, adapting its products to the tastes of the Japanese. Later they opened in 2013 in Bogotá, Colombia and soon is planned for opening in  Mexico city.

In Madrid ,there is already another outlet at the market or Mercado de Prosperidad, in Calle López de Hoyos ,81, it will have 110 square meters distributed on two floors. Unlike the local at San Ginés , it won’t open 24 hours every day of the year, but it will adapt to the timetable of the rest of the market hours from 6h to 22h  uninterrupted.

And after all the above, you may ask what are Churros? Well not a cooker even less a chef but this tells it like it is. The Churros are long sticks of dough created from water, salt and flour. Typically, dough is for a vat of hot oil, deep-fried and stirred with a very long stick, which helps the dough form into long spiral sticks, similar to a donut, but not round. The sticks are then cut down and a bit of sugar may be added on top. The hot chocolate is served the authentic Spanish way: thick and steaming, perfect for dipping churros into. If you’ve already tried churros, Porras are a thicker, more doughy version and well worth a try.

Some webpages to help your full  enjoyment of this place are

Official chocolateria San Ginés

Tourist office of Madrid on San Ginés

YELP reviews on the Chocolateria San Ginés

And there you have an institution in Madrid, a must stop, ok go the sights the museums the parks but do come here lunch or dinner late night better again is a must stop in Madrid at the Chocolateria San Ginés. Hope you get the idea, is a must! Cheers!!!

Y allí tienes una institución en Madrid, una parada obligada, vale, ir a los lugares de interés los museos ,los parques pero vienen aquí  para almuerzo o cena tarde mejor otra vez es una parada obligada en Madrid en la chocolateria San Ginés. Espero que tengas la idea, es una necesidad! ¡¡¡Saludos!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!! Thanks so much for reading my blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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January 28, 2019

Centro Cubano , Madrid!

And to see if I finally end this nostalgic run on Madrid! So much weight, hard to do it but I must. This is a city that pulls you, attract you , trapped you, and won’t let go. Its a vibrant open funny, lively, friendly city for all. Oh well can’t say enough of it, you have read me you know it.

As my roots are all over with many years in different countries as citizen of  Spain, USA, France,and working time in Brazil and Nigeria, the one I was born long ago in another era was Cuba. When i came over to lived in Madrid in 1970, the place was humming with Cuban exiles from the communist dictatorship existing there, and still unfortunately.  We had our little huddle, talks, souvenirs, nostalgia in itself by coming to this place for lunch or dinner. The poorer Cubans were given free meals by the owners!

I like to tell you about an institution in Madrid as the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe, founded in 1967. It finanly closed its doors somewhere in 2012 due to the family line not willing to continue. I heard a nephew or in law did open another one not far from it at Calle Ortega y Gasset, 69 , call El Centro Cubano. I am talking about the Centro Cubano or Cuban center restaurant at Calle Claudio Coello, 41, Salamanca district,metro Serrano line 4. The new restaurant is by Metro Listo line 4 too. The newer restaurant I have not been yet so cannot tell nothing, and cannot tell if still open.


Centro Cubano ent to dining rooms credit Centro Cubano photo

The old Centro Cubano founded in 1967 was the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe. Since then it has been a faithful ambassador of Cuban food and cocktails in Madrid. It had two rooms with capacity for more than 200 people, a private room for celebrations and events and an art gallery. In its specialties it had the Ropa Vieja (old clothes)  with rice and beans and the fried cow(vaca frita) with congrí (black beans colored rice) and tostones (green plantains). Among its entrees were well known its tostones stuffed, tamales(corn tamales)  and ladybugs of plantain. It had a wide variety of Cuban desserts like the guava shells,  and the sweets of coconut, milk and grapefruit. In its ample bar were prepared those that are considered by many the best mojitos, besides flavor daiquiris , Cuba libre, and other cocktails like the piña colada. At noon, from Monday to Friday there were, also a menu of the day Mediterranean style in addition to the Cuban food.


centro cubano dining room credit Centro Cubano photo

It was a dandy , my dear late mom Gladys, used to take me there for lunch. I used to come sometimes with local friends for lunch as well and introduce them to the food. Those were the days of my nostalgic Madrid early 70’s. Of course, things have change today. Many of the old places are no longer, and the city is with more people, but the aura of its air just been there is enormous and always ready looking forward to go. In a sense, Madrid is my Spain, even if by blood I am from Candelaria and Pajarà in Tenerife, Canary islands.

This post, of course, its just for the memories,the nostalgia of my Madrid to record in my blog. As said, the resto is no longer there, the family opened a new one, maybe time for me to try it and compare with my memoirs!!! Enjoy Madrid!

This is some historical information I found in Yelp my favorite guide posted in my blogroll bottom of my main blog page. YELP on the Old Restaurant Centro Cubano

And again from my favorite blogroll webpages the shown Cuban restaurants in Madrid (again not tried any)

Tourist office of Madrid on Cubans restos

El Tenedor, fork resto site on Cuban restos in Madrid

YELP site on Cuban restos in Madrid

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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